Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Everything old is new again! Prince Rupert Port Authority announces study into potential break bulk facility on Kaien Island

The Lynnterm Breakbulk facility
in Vancouver, a similar style of
shipping facility could be in the
future for the Port of Prince Rupert

Long before Fairview Terminal became a beehive of activity of containers coming and going through the North Coast gateway, the dock area of Fairview had a long history of loading and unloading ships in what is known as Break/bulk facility.

The old facility which for the most part made for the shipment point for the province's lumber industry, suffered what became a serious slowdown as the BC forest industry entered its mujch documented retrenchment of the early 2000's.

The financial impact of that time left the Port of Prince Rupert looking to seek for new options for their waterfront footprint, leading to the breaking of ground on the Fairview Container Terminal.

With the construction of the highly successful container port, the break/bulk concept was put to the history books over the last decade, though the first indications of a potential return was recently included as part of the Port's 2020 Gateway Development Plan.

A glimpse towards that future was delivered by the Port in December of 2015, as Port CEO and President Don Krusel delivered a presentation to the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce.

Towards moving the potential break/bulk development ahead, the Port in partnership with SSA Marine and Western Stevedoring will begin to explore the viability of a return of a break/bulk facility to the North Coast.

The new facility, should it move forward, would be constructed on an 80 hectare site on the south shore of Kaien Island near the Prince Rupert Grain Terminal site and along the shoreline that leads towards the Container Terminal.  It would also make use of the recently completed Road, Rail and Utility corridor to move goods in and out of the North Coast.

Among some of the product that could move through the new facility would include forest products, steel, project cargo, bulk specialty products, mineral concentrates and automobiles.

An area on the south side of Kaien Island across from Prince
Rupert Grain could soon be home to a new break/bulk facility

(photo courtesy of Prince Rupert Port Authority)

Prince Rupert Port Authority President and CEO Don Krusel outlined how the new facility could provide for more diversification for the Port's shipment options on the North Coast.

“Ongoing cargo diversification is one of the highest priorities for the Port of Prince Rupert, and the potential for the return of breakbulk and general cargoes capacity to the Port of Prince Rupert represents a clear response to growing market demand in Western Canada. We are pleased to be working with SSA Marine and Western Stevedoring, accomplished transportation service providers whose extensive global operations make them an attractive partner.”

The two partners with the Port on the project and both have a high profile in the shipping world.

Western Stevedoring operates terminal facilities in the Vancouver area, while SSA Marine is one of the largest privately held marine and rail terminal operators in the world, based out of Seattle, they operate facilities in a number of nations, including the United States, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Vietnam to name a few.

An example of some of the cargo handled and the footprint of such facilities can be found from the Lynnterm Operations website for Western Stevedoring's Vancouver operation.

The Port of Prince Rupert last operated break/bulk capacity in 2006, with the closure of the break/bulk terminal, construction of the Container terminal began in 2007.

No timeline was outlined today as to the process ahead as the Port and its partners explore the potential development.

You can review more on today's announcement from this update from the Port Authority.

More background on the latest news or development plans for the Prince Rupert Port Authority can be found from our archive page.

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